Friday Reads: Excerpt From Brutal Season

In this fourth, and perhaps final book, in the Seasons Mystery Series, Sarah is contemplating her relationship with LaVon, Angel’s brother. After a bit of a dustup at first about it, Angel is finally okay with Sarah dating her brother. That was worked out in the previous book, but now the question is whether Sarah and LaVon can make anything long-term work.

The following is Sarah’s musing about it. Enjoy…

Brutal Season 3-d cover on a black background. The cover image is the skyline of Dallas at dusk with the DPD o[police badge hinted at in the clouds. Yellow crime scene tap at the bottom.


It was nearing midnight by the time they finished up at the Abrams’ house and Sarah headed home. She held on to a slight hope that LaVon might still be there, but he’d probably gone to his own place earlier. He had to be in the office first thing in the morning. As she drove, she wondered again if their relationship was going to go any further than it had. Great company. Great sex. Add an abundance of laughs and tender moments, and that made a good foundation on which to build a future. More than she’d had with any other man in her life up to this point.

But …

But they had this huge barrier comprised of race, color, and culture. Since they’d moved beyond the occasional coffee or riding lesson to serious dating a few months ago, she’d only been to his parent’s house with him once for dinner. His mother had been very polite and cordial, in that stiff way of someone not happy with the social situation, but putting on the good-hostess face. Father shooting daggers at her across the table, not even pretending on the good-host front.

Anxious to leave that night, she couldn’t wait for dessert to be over, although truth be told, she would have loved another piece of Mrs. Johnson’s lemon meringue pie. But one more dagger or stilted comment would have pushed her over the good-visitor cliff. On the way back to her apartment, she’d told LaVon she wasn’t eager to go back.

“Give them time,” he’d said. “They’ll come around.”

Sarah gave a slight shake of her head. “I don’t know. But I wonder about the change in your mother. A few years ago, she was championing me to your father. Said I was a good partner for Angel.”

LaVon let out a soft chuckle. “Professional partner was one thing. This …” he gestured between them. “This is something totally out of her comfort zone.”

“I didn’t think she was bigoted.”

“We all are in our own way, aren’t we?”

Even as his question popped into Sarah’s mind again, now several months later, it wasn’t one that had a single, simple answer. Instead, it was a question that was more effective as a reminder to carefully consider words and actions.

As for her own family. She really had nobody of great importance back in Tennessee to care one way or another if she was dating a Black man. Well, her uncle would probably have some strong opinions. But his opinion didn’t matter to her. And she might not ever take LaVon to her hometown anyway. Too many rednecks there for his, or her, comfort, which was one of the reasons she’d been eager to leave once she no longer had a reason to stay.

If her grandmother were still alive, she’d support Sarah all the way. That thought brought the warmth of a tear that surprised her. It had been over ten years since her grandmother had died, and these occasional hits of grief always caught her off guard. The hits weren’t strong as they’d been first few years, but they were accompanied by a pang in the region of her heart and the sting of tears.

Of course, the events of the past few years didn’t help matters. Losing her previous partner and almost losing her job had loosened the scab that had formed a few weeks after her grandmother had died. Grandma Ruthie had raised Sarah after her father ran off and her mother killed herself with drugs, taking a pre-teen child into her home and into her heart. Grandma was poor, so life was hard, but the old woman was soft and sweet. She was also very wise, and Sarah was ever so grateful to have had the years with her that formed the woman Sarah became.

Sighing, Sarah pulled into her parking space at the apartment complex and got out of her car. After locking it, she headed toward her unit. Her hunch was right about LaVon leaving. Nobody greeted her except Cat who wound his orange body around her legs, emitting a throaty meow as if he hadn’t eaten in weeks.

That’s all from me for today folks. Whatever your weekend plans are, I hope they involve some fun and relaxation. I will try to do a bit of that myself. Have a quilt in the works as well as a jigsaw puzzle. They both satisfy the criteria.

Be safe. Be happy.

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